I had the pleasure of interviewing Emily Reifel, of the Plaza Hotel NYC. Also, known as The Empress Em of Events at the Plaza Hotel NYC, Emily Reifel represents everything that is magical about the iconic Plaza. With grace and charm, Emily provided some wonderful insights that I will share with you now.
Why get married at a hotel?
Logistically it makes the most sense because you don’t have to worry about anything. If you have a destination wedding there are many potential issues in terms of the details of the day. At a hotel like the Plaza, everything is under one roof so it’s easy and seamless. Hotels provide the tables, chairs, silverware, etc.. It really reduces the level of stress for the family.
A common mistake couples make when planning their weddings
They might choose a venue and can get in over their head. You need to feel comfortable and choose a venue with a large enough staff to accommodate you in every way. This might be another reason to hire a wedding planner because you don’t have to deal with those places that may be understaffed and not there for you when you need them. Planners make the process seamless and will pick up the slack if the hotel drops the ball and doesn’t meet your expectations.
Important questions to ask:
Does the venue have exclusive vendors they work with? Some places have companies and others don’t. If you choose a venue that has preferred vendors I recommend you meet with the company to make certain you feel comfortable with them prior to giving a deposit. You want a level of comfort and a team of people that will allow you to feel at ease on the day of your wedding.
My Best piece of Advice:
Go with your gut and really listen to each other. Make sure you choose a venue, wedding planner and vendors who are right for you. There needs to be a personality fit because you will be together on your wedding day and want to make certain everything is perfect…or as perfect as can be expected. If the vibe feels wrong then don’t hire them. Remember, go with your gut instinct and you will be very happy after the wedding is over.
Some Cool Trends:
1. Couples are having more fun than they did in the past. It’s no uncommon for couples that host an after party and serve chicken fingers and fries on the dance floor. Crazy sunglasses, necklaces, and fun hats have been very popular of late. Many of our parties start off refined and continue throughout the evening and when couples get to the end of the reception or after party, they bring in the fun and playful food and props which allow them to let loose and have fun with friends and family.
2. Video Mapping is another amazing trend because you can have a lighting company project video on the walls, stairways, ceilings and floors of the space. Lately, we’ve taken photos of the bride and groom and created a video that has been projected on our staircase with custom gold ornate frames so that as the guests walk up from the ceremony into the grand ballroom for dinner and dancing the guests have this feeling that they are walking through the bride and groom’s home and looking at these really incredible family portraits and of the couples themselves and it’s magical.
I am Most Excited About:
People getting really excited about their entertainment. A wedding is not just a dance party with just a wedding band anymore. People are really having fun and creating more show like elements as part of their weddings. Could be a band and a DJ, or bringing in a surprise act with opera singers serenading guests during dinner. Some people have brought in ballroom dancers to create an element of entertainment during their meal which was really beautiful especially in a grand ballroom that the Plaza has.
What I Love about weddings:
I Love that it’s all about love. To be in this business you have to love Love and you have to believe in love. Being a part of somebody’s special day where they are going to create the rest of their lives with the person that they love is pretty magical.
Final piece of advice:
You don’t need a year and a half to plan your wedding provided you have the right team of professionals around you and you are not afraid to make decisions.
Edward Neary is the founder of Joseph Edwards Films. His passion for filming weddings flows through the films he creates. He has 20+ years experience in the wedding industry and loves helping engaged couples with practical advice on planning their wedding.
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